Dubai: An airport ground staff has been jailed for three months for molesting a 10-year-old girl four times while deflating her swimming ring at the check-in counter.

The British girl and her mother were at the check-in counter flying back to London in September from Dubai International Airport.

The mother in a wheelchair left her daughter at the counter for a few minutes and went to the washroom and when she returned they proceeded to the plane. In a written complaint lodged on one of the social media platforms of Emirates airline, the mother said her daughter told her that the Indian ground staff touched her indecently four times.

The mother wrote that the defendant molested her daughter as he was deflating her daughter’s swimming ring.

On Monday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of molestation.

Presiding judge Habib Awad said the accused, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported.

Records said a security officer at Emirates told the police that they held an internal investigation during which the Indian defendant said he mistakenly touched the girl.

“I mistakenly touched her while deflating her swimming ring,” the 42-year-old defendant told the court.

Emirates’ security officer testified: “The mother approached us on one of the social media platforms. She said her daughter had been molested four times by the ground staff who touched her while deflating the swimming ring. The woman was still on board the plane when she lodged her complaint. When I confronted the accused, he said it happened by mistake.”

An Indian security staff who carried out the administrative investigation said the accused told him that he mistakenly touched the girl’s breast.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.